A million Christmas bulbs to light up Fens

Forget the Blackbool Illuminations - one family is lighting up their home with more than one million lights in a spectacular charity display.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:42 pm
Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. Robert and Amanda Dempsey with helper Phil Hall EMN-161129-192954009

Rob Dempsy will switch on the stunning array of lights at his home near Wisbech tonight.

It is the third year Rob and wife Amanda have put on the display - and they are hoping to top the £12,480 they raised for Cancer Research UK last year.

Rob said: “This year’s lights will be bigger than ever.

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Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. Amanda Dempsey EMN-161129-193006009

“We have a lot more lights than we have had before, we have two Nativity areas up, and lots more things.

“We have more than a million lights this year, and with a team of volunteers who help, we have been putting the lights up for more than a month already.

“This year for the opening night we will have Santa and some elves, as well as Olaf from Frozen to make it a magical experience.

The lights at the two acre home in Duncombe’s Road, Turves will be turned on at 5pm tonight (Thursday). They will be turned on between 5pm and 9pm every night until New Year’s Eve.

Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves EMN-161129-193017009

Rob said: “We get so many people coming along. Last year there was a queue a mile long down the road to see them. One family had come all the way from Great Yarmouth just to see the lights.

“This time we have a car park with 40 spaces, and a traffic light system set up to make it run a bit smoother.”

Rob said he was inspired to start the lights after seeing a display in Whittlesey, where he used to live. John and Gina Ferridge’s display raised more than £35,000 for charity over many years.

Rob said: “I used to see the lights John and Gina used to put up every year, and thought that I would like to do that.

Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. helper Phil Hall EMN-161129-193029009

“I know they are not doing it this year for the first time, but they gave me the bug to do it.This year we are starting to replace the old bulbs with new LEDs, which are much cheaper to run. We have to check every single string of lights to make sure they are all working - it is a long job, but it is all worth it in the end.

“People can donate however much they want to . In the first year we raised £2,000, and then last year we raised £12,480. We have grown up children, but we do have young grandchildren, and they love the lights.”

While the lights will be switched on during evenings after Christmas Eve, the displays will not be manned during that time. A just giving web page, for people to donate to the cause, has also been set up.

To make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Robert-Dempsey2

Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. helper Phil Hall EMN-161129-193052009

For information about the display, including directions, visit www.willowhousechristmaslights.co.uk/

Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. Amanda Dempsey EMN-161129-193006009
Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves EMN-161129-193017009
Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. helper Phil Hall EMN-161129-193029009
Christmas lights at Duncombes Road, Turves. helper Phil Hall EMN-161129-193052009